The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, IICSA, has today published its overarching investigation report into the Anglican Church in England and Wales, based on the main public hearing in July 2019.
The 154 page report makes eight principal recommendations about a range of issues including the Church’s response to victims and survivors, which is an absolute priority.
Giving an initial reaction today, Diocesan Bishop Rt Rev. Julian Henderson, the Bishop of Blackburn, said: “On October 2 the Archbishops issued an open letter with call to pray for all those who will be affected by the publication of the overarching IICSA Investigation Report.
“They shared the hope that as a Church we are able to respond with humility and a shared determination to change.
“As a Diocese we fully support the Archbishops when they say we must listen carefully and reflect honestly on all that the report says; while continuing to drive change towards a safe Church for all.
“In the wake of an interim IICSA report in 2019 the Bishops, Archdeacons and the Dean of this Diocese joined together to issue our own open letter to our parishes which we published on our website.
“In that letter we said … ‘The Church is one body, so whilst we may not ourselves have been directly involved in the abuse of children and vulnerable adults, we are fellow members of the body with those who have and so we are all called to repentance’.
“Keeping that in mind, while it is for the national Church to respond more widely to the final IICSA Report, we join with the whole of The Church of England in saying that we are truly sorry for the shameful way the Church has acted.
“And we restate our commitment to listen, to learn and to act in response to the report’s findings and recommendations, which we will all now be absorbing in the wake of its publication today.”
Ronnie Semley, October 2020